“More Than A Mom” ~ a review of Kari Kampakis’s newest

#sponsor #partner

I have found my newest favorite mom book in Kari Kampakis’s More Than A Mom, which FrontGate Media provided to me. It has been SO encouraging and full of wisdom for me. Let me tell you more!

About More Than A Mom

Kari Kampakis, a mom of four girls, knows what being a mom asks of us. And not that we don’t delight in that privilege! But sometimes (oftentimes?) moms might neglect their own health while they care for their kids and families. We throw ourselves, body and soul, into: meal preparation; trying to figure out how to assist kids as they interact with the internet; getting up with our kids at night, when they’re nursing, or sick, or having nightmares; driving all around town; you know the drill! Moms so often treat motherhood if it were a sprint. When really, it’s a marathon.

What if moms could take care of themselves while they are doing all these mom activities in such a way that they remain healthy themselves AND model healthy living for their kids? Kari believes it’s possible! In More Than A Mom, she details 10 areas moms can incorporate to live more healthily in body, soul, and spirit: knowing their worth; resting & restoration; friendships; conquering stress & anxiety; choosing joy; rejecting negative self-talk; making peace with their bodies; feeling capable; embracing purpose; and living in hope. And, she doesn’t just give readers lofty ideals (that can make them feel even more guilty). Instead, she talks about the ways women can embrace these changes in ways that are positive, include Scriptures, and are action-oriented. Chapters also close with thoughtful questions that will enable moms to think about what they’d like to incorporate and include in their own lives; and what, if anything, needs to change for their own mental/emotional/spiritual/physical health.

How this book impacted me

When I was almost finished reading More Than A Mom, I told my husband, “Don’t let me put this book out of my sight!” That’s a convoluted way of saying that there was so much of value to me in this book. In fact, while I’ve read it, I am definitely not finished with it yet. I plan to work through it again, chapter by chapter, engaging with its ideas in my journal, taking notes but also using it to make changes in my life. It resounded with me, enormously; and there is more of it for me to unpack.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  • “Like the shepherd in Matthew 18:12 who leaves ninety-nine sheep to search for the one sheep that is lost, God would travel to the ends of the earth for you. You’re not just another face in the crowd. To Him, you’re fully seen, desired, and known.”
  • “We want a positive life, and since we can’t create a positive life while consumed with negative thoughts, we’re often forced into a mind edit, a sifting through the mental clutter to clear out negativity. The expert of a mind edit is God, who created our minds in the first place. He knows our thoughts and offers healthy scripts to replace old ones.”
  • “Cultivate inner beauty..How you act (and make people feel) impacts the way people see you. Beauty is a running tally influenced by a woman’s choices…Your beauty quotient grows by simply being kind.”
  • “The reason why we accept God’s assignments is in response to His perfect love….At every age, you have a purpose, one that fulfills your heart’s desire to make a lasting and meaningful difference.”

As I read and interacted with More Than A Mom, I was so impacted by Kari’s loving thoughts and wisdom. She pointed out so many helpful actions and habits that I know I can put to work in my own life, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This book has made a difference for me; and it will continue to, I know, as I put the ideas into practice that I’d like to embrace. I believe it can for you as well!

About Kari Kampakis, the author

Kari Kampakis is a mom of four girls, author, speaker, and podcaster from Birmingham, Alabama. Her new book for girl moms, LOVE HER WELL: 10 WAYS TO FIND JOY AND CONNECTION WITH YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER, can be found everywhere books are sold. Kari’s books for teen & tween girls – LIKED and 10 ULTIMATE TRUTHS GIRLS SHOULD KNOW – have been used widely across the country for small group studies. Join Kari on FacebookInstagram, and the Girl Mom podcast, or visit karikampakis.com.

Where you can find More Than A Mom

You can pre-order this book through the link below. Plus, when you do, you’ll receive free downloads from Kari, cell phone lock screens, devotionals, and other goodies.

More Than A Mom purchase link

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from FrontGate Media. All opinions are honest and my own.

Kari Kampakis’ LOVE HER WELL – A JustReads Blog Tour (plus giveaway, ending 8/24/19!)



Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Love Her Well by Kari Kampakis, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Love Her WellTitle: Love Her Well



Title: Love Her Well
Author: Kari Kampakis
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:
August 18, 2020
Genre: Christian Living/Parenting

Moms are eager for tips and wisdom to help them build strong relationships with their daughters, and Kari Kampakis’s Love Her Well gives them ten practical ways to do so, not by changing their daughters but by changing their own thoughts, actions, and mind-set.

For many women, having a baby girl is a dream come true. Yet as girls grow up, the narrative of innocence and joy changes to gloom and doom as moms are told, “Just wait until she’s a teenager!” and handed a disheartening script that treats a teenage girl’s final years at home as solely a season to survive.

Author and blogger Kari Kampakis suggests it’s time to change the narrative and mind-set that lead moms to parent teen girls with a spirit of defeat, not strength. By improving the foundation, habits, and dynamics of the relationship, mothers can connect with their teen daughters and earn a voice in their lives that allows moms to offer guidance, love, wisdom, and emotional support.

As a mom of four daughters (three of whom are teenagers), Kari has learned the hard way that as girls grow up, mothers must grow up too. In Love Her Well, Kari shares ten ways that moms can better connect with their daughters in a challenging season, including:

  • choosing their words and timing carefully,
  • listening and empathizing with her teen’s world,
  • seeing the good and loving her for who she is,
  • taking care of themselves and having a support system, and more.

This book isn’t a guide to help mothers “fix” their daughters or make them behave. Rather, it’s about a mom’s journey, doing the heart work and legwork necessary to love a teenager while still being a strong, steady parent. Kari explores how every relationship consists of two imperfect sinners, and teenagers gain more respect for their parents when they admit (and learn from) their mistakes, apologize, listen, give grace, and try to understand their teens’ point of view. Yes, teenagers need rules and consequences, but without a connected relationship, parents may never gain a significant voice in their lives or be a safe place they long to return to.

By admitting her personal failures and prideful mistakes that have hurt her relationships with her teenage daughters, Kari gives mothers hope and reminds them all things are possible through God. By leaning on him, mothers gain the wisdom, guidance, protection, and clarity they need to grow strong relationships with their daughters at every age, especially during the critical teen years.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook



Kari Kampakis

Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is an author, blogger, and national speaker from Birmingham, Alabama. Her books for teen girls, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?, have been used widely across the country by teen youth groups and church groups to empower girls through faith.

Kari’s work has been featured on the TODAY Show, TODAY Parents,Yahoo! News, EWTN, Proverbs 31, Ann Voskamp’s blog, The Huffington Post, and other national outlets. She and her husband, Harry, have four daughters and a dog named Lola. Learn more by visiting http://www.karikampakis.com or finding Kari on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

CONNECT WITH KARI: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


(2) winners will receive a print copy of Love Her Well by Kari Kampakis!

Love Her Well JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 17, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on August 24, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.



My review and recommendations for Love Her Well

So, I must admit to y’all. I am not the mom of a teenage girl. I’m the mom of a teen boy. But I am a woman, and once upon a time I was a teenage girl.

However, ever since I learned about Love Her Well I was captivated by both the title and the book’s summary. Which of us, as a teen girl, didn’t long to be loved and loved deeply, whether it was by our family or by a future boyfriend or spouse? I know that we moms (former teen girls) also desire to love our kids well. I felt that reading this book would enable me not only to learn how to love my own teen better but that it might also be a source of understanding for me, as I look back on my own teen years. And, I found that those hopes were realized as I read, with so much more that I hadn’t imagined I’d learn.

Kampakis writes as a beloved coach or mentor who’s been there, who’s ready and willing to help you to take steps to improve your relationship with your daughter (although, as I said, this is information I can apply to my own relationship with my son). She breaks down potential areas of conflict between moms and daughters. She pulls back the curtain and shows us what our teens are really dealing with out in a world that praises them for their beauty and denigrates them for their weight. I know that when I was a teen I felt the pressures society and peers placed on us. But as I compare my own experiences with the ones teens face today, I believe that mine (and my peers’s) are only a fraction of the challenges encountered by this generation.

For example, here is just a short list:

  • Social media
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Loneliness and depression
  • Not enough true downtime
  • Bullying and cyberbullying
  • Sexting, promiscuity, and a hook-up culture

And that is just a partial list. The rest of it is just as heartbreaking. How on earth do we help our teens navigate this?

We can live with our daughters (and yes, our sons too) with empathy. With understanding. We can seek to listen in such a way that we truly HEAR them and what they are saying. We can, as Christians, live differently than the culture; we can help them to know that their value is not just in what society sees, but their actual value as individually created humans with special callings and purposes.

A key job we carry out is moms is to prepare our kiddos to live well in the outside world. They won’t be in our homes forever; and even more, WE won’t be on this planet forever! Our darling teens are entrusted to us for a time. But we’re not the moms of teens to be their best friends. Rather, we’re to be their mentors, coaches, advisors, truth-tellers, and parents. I’m so very aware of this truth because just this past weekend, we took our son to his college dorm! I spent last week (as we prepared and did some final shopping) realizing I hadn’t taught him “everything” I’d intended to. We have short crucial years to pour into our children’s lives and to help them to mature. Then we must entrust them to the One who made them in the first place.

One of the most beautiful ideas of this book focused on making our relationships with our teens a priority. It is SO easy to fill up our schedules with “good” things. Volunteering. Hobbies. Cleaning the home. Working. But do our teens KNOW that they are one of our most important priorities? I so want my child to know that he was more important than my “responsibilities.” What a key goal for us all as moms.

I am a list-maker myself. And Kampakis includes some fantastic lists in Love Her Well! Keep an eye out for: 20 Ways to Grow a Relationship with Your Daughter; 35 Ways to Speak Life to Your Daughter; 10 Ways to See the Good in Your Daughter; Twenty Truths of Friendship; and more. These lists have great ideas, plans, activities, and perspectives. And funny stories. They will bless you AND help you be a better mom.

I also enjoyed the reflection questions included by the author at the end of each chapter. They really enable the reader to pause, to reflect, and to pray and ask God for His help and assistance. He knows us and He knows our teens, and He can create the connection points we’re all longing for.

I received a digital copy of Love Her Well but I can tell you that if I had received a print copy, I would have had notes scribbled all over the place, Post-It flags marking important passages, and colored highlights on favorite paragraphs. Since I read the ebook version, I journaled (a lot) about the ideas and actions that I believed could change my mothering for the better. I could tell that Kampakis truly had journeyed into the lives of her teen girls and the often-harsh world they, and all teen girls, live in. (And as a side note, a wonderful thing about having received the ebook is that I have it on my Kindle now forever! Which is amazing because there is much in this book I wish to revisit, pray through, and take to heart.)

I so, so recommend this book to you. (Even if you are a boy mom and not a girl mom.) There are beautiful, meaningful truths here that really can transform your relationships with your teens; and set them up for lives that are very, very good.


Enjoy! –Wren

DISCLAIMER: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.